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September 14, 2016

The story of mankind is the tale of someone who wakes up in Paradise and decides to burn it down.

Happens every time. It doesn't matter that the survivors wrote it all down for our edification, because we'll just stop reading the Bible and watch some 'reality' TV show. - Wretchard T. Cat

Posted by gerardvanderleun at September 14, 2016 11:14 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

From my forthcoming post, "The empty abyss of emotion and feelings:"

Our question is one that Plato and Moses alike would be stunned (or maybe not) that we are still grappling with today. Has not the human race learned anything in the last few thousand years? It would seem not, for we struggle just as the ancients did: Shall we order our lives according to the transcendent, the holy and the righteous or the power and control of other mortals? Shall we hold certain truths as self-evident, that human beings are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, or shall we suborn our rights, hence freedoms, to Great Politics, which the last 100 years have been ample proof that Nietzsche was right?

The ancient Jews never answered this to their own satisfaction. Their history, as they recorded it themselves, was one of faithfulness to the Covenant of Sinai and abandonment of it. To and fro, back and forth. And over and over they learned what St. Paul wrote to the church in Galatia: "God can't be disregarded. You will harvest what you plant."

And brothers and sisters, the harvest is coming in. It is coming in, good and hard, for the worst punishment God ever hands out to us is to let us have what we want.

Posted by: Donald Sensing at September 14, 2016 1:00 PM

Someone said, "History teaches that mankind learns nothing from history."

As a cleric, I see the state of the modern, North American church and I realize that we have not moved a tick on the chart closer to embodying the Kingdom of God than our ancestors of 1916. Or 1816. And the record of the ancient Jews shows that they never did, either. Despite the genuine revival of their return from Babylonian exile in 539 bce, it did not last.

Arnold Toynbee wrote that civilizations are never murdered, they commit suicide. And so we are. I would call upon the North American Church to re-answer its calling, but this assumes that it ever did answer to begin with and that our failures are of recent vintage. Of the former I cannot recite much evidence and of the latter I can cite the 1963 “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” by Martin Luther King, Jr. in which he lamented,

The contemporary church is often a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. It is so often the arch-supporter of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church’s silent, or often vocal, sanction of things as they are.

But I am trying to discern a historical time when this was not the case and I cannot.

Posted by: Donald Sensing at September 14, 2016 1:31 PM

Wait...for we are but humans after all?

As if all our faults and foibles are completely separate from our faiths. If only we lived the pious life? (Like the Muslims of course).

So blameless the church. Celebrate it when all is good and gracious but when bleakness arrives it's hands are clean? How convenient.

God is good, bad is...somebody else's fault. Great marketing.

Posted by: tim at September 15, 2016 8:30 AM

Even Paradise has rules to live by and the problem with Paradise is anyone can come in. Just need a new gatekeeper at the entrance with intolerance for Demoncrats

Posted by: eclectic kelvin at September 15, 2016 12:48 PM

Paradise is in the smile, the giggling belly laugh of a child, and in its peaceful play and sleeping.
We adults disturb the peace with our senseless greed, our egomania, our adulterants.
Whether we learn or not, for the most part we simply don't care enough

Posted by: Stug Guts at September 15, 2016 4:16 PM

Because. Religion isn't the answer. Its merely the second iteration of (our) sentient life form's effort to noodle out what mode(s) are. We are just barely emerging from the primordial goo and have the audacity to posit that all is lost because our God concept doesn't work too good. Of the five modes of existence we have - paths on life's way - none are sufficient to consistently deliver a fully self realized experience of Being in the world. Art is only a question - a dumb one at that - it expects no answer. Religion finds the answer but ignorantly posits it in an absolute other and stupidly defines it in finite terms (read anthropomorphic). Next comes science which keeps the truth in an impossible to reach 'grand unifying theory' - history does the same positing utopia after utopia on the ever receding horizon of human endeavour. Some philosophy actually closes in on the truth as in this statement: "Beauty is in the object, and it is in beauty that we see through the factual reflection of reality into Being itself." That is Plato. I submit that none have ever come closer to explaining the Real which can't be explained anyhow. And, consider, why would anyone want to? It would be tantamount to ending discovery/creativity. I don't know about you, but I don't want a 'steady state Universe'. So, the problem with Christians, as Chesterton pointed out, is the Christians themselves.

Posted by: John Hinds at September 16, 2016 12:21 PM

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